This is an Ancient Egyptian tale. It's a sort of Cinderella story.

A long time ago, there was a wealthy Greek Egyptian called Charaxos. He was a merchant, and had spent most of his life trading with the Egyptians, but had settled in the city of Naucratis in his old age.

One day as he walked in the marketplace, he came across a great crowd gathered around the slave stall. Curious, he pushed through the throng to find a beautiful girl on the stall for sale. She was a Greek too, with white skin and rosy cheeks.

When the bidding began, the merchant bought her easily due to his wealth. He found that her name was Rhodopis. She had been captured by pirates from her home as a child. They had sold her to a rich slaver living on the isle of Sampos. She grew up there. One of her fellow slaves was a little man called Aesop, who told her many tales of animals and humans.

When she grew up, the rich slaver sold her to the market on Naucratis. Charaxos pitied her deeply. Soon he became quite entranced by her. He gave her a house with a garden, slave girls and many jewels and fine clothes. Indeed, he spoiled her as if she were his own daughter.

One day, however, as Rhodopis bathed in her marble edged pool, a huge eagle swooped down from the sky and stole one of her prized rose-red slippers. Rhodopis cried out, as she had loved the slippers and mourned the loss of one deeply.

The slipper was not lost. The eagle carried the slipper to Memphis where the pharoah was holding an audience. It swooped down upon him and dropped the slipper into his lap.

The pharoah Amasis was taken aback. He examined the slipper and saw the fine workmanship and the small size. So he felt that it must belong to the loveliest girl in the world.

Amasis was so determined to find her, he sent forth this proclamation:

"Let my messengers go forth through all the cities of the Delta and, if need be, into Upper Egypt to the very borders of my kingdom. Let them take with them this rose-red slipper which the divine bird of Horus has brought to me, and let them declare that her from whose foot this slipper came shall be the bride of Pharaoh!"

The messengers set forth and made their way slowly to Naucratis, where they heard the rumour of Charaxos the merchant lavishing his wealth upon a beautiful Greek slave girl he had found in the market.

So they went to the great house and found Rhodopis in her garden. They showed her the slipper, and she cried out in delight. She brought out the other slipper, and the messengers knew they had found their pharoah's wife.

Charaxos was torn between joy for Rhodopis' luck and sorrow for her loss, however a royal command could not be disobeyed.

The pharoah Amasis was smitten by Rhodopis' great beauty and made her his queen rather than just place her in his harem. And together the two of them lived happily until their deaths.

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